Logo of janatLink to Publisher's site
J Anat. 1993 Aug; 183(Pt 1): 97–101.
PMCID: PMC1259857

Quantitative enzyme cytochemistry during human macrophage development.


Integrating microdensitometry was used to study changes in the intracellular activity of 4 enzymes during macrophage development. Suspension cultures of blood monocytes from 19 healthy human subjects were examined at 0, 2, 4 and 6 d. Mononuclear phagocytes were harvested by glass adherence and standard methods were used for cytochemical staining for NADH dehydrogenase, succinate dehydrogenase, acid phosphatase and alpha-naphthyl butyrate esterase. All specimens from all subjects were stained at the same time and staining intensities in individual cells were measured at appropriate wavelengths. A highly significant increase in enzyme activity with culture time was found for all 4 enzymes. These increases in mitochondrial, lysosomal and ectoenzyme activities during development indicate the increasing functional capabilities of the macrophages.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (775K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Bajorin DF, Cheung NK, Houghton AN. Macrophage colony-stimulating factor: biological effects and potential applications for cancer therapy. Semin Hematol. 1991 Apr;28(2 Suppl 2):42–48. [PubMed]
  • Bell AL, Markey GM, McCaigue MD, Middleton D, McCormick JA, Wilson AG, Morris TC. Heredofamilial deficiency of monocyte esterase in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 1992 May;51(5):668–670. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bozdech MJ, Bainton DF. Identification of alpha-naphthyl butyrate esterase as a plasma membrane ectoenzyme of monocytes and as a discrete intracellular membrane-bounded organelle in lymphocytes. J Exp Med. 1981 Jan 1;153(1):182–195. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cohn PD, Emanuel PD, Bozdech MJ. Differences in nonspecific esterase from normal and leukemic monocytes. Blood. 1987 Jun;69(6):1574–1579. [PubMed]
  • Dogra S, Kaw JL. Changes in some histochemically demonstrable enzymes in macrophages exposed to quartz dust in vitro. J Appl Toxicol. 1988 Feb;8(1):23–27. [PubMed]
  • Goldstein DJ. Aspects of scanning microdensitometry. I. Stray light (glare). J Microsc. 1970;92(1):1–16. [PubMed]
  • Goldstein DJ. Errors in microdensitometry. Histochem J. 1981 Mar;13(2):251–267. [PubMed]
  • McCormick JA, Markey GM, Morris TC, Auld PW, Alexander HD. Lactoferrin inducible monocyte cytotoxicity defective in esterase deficient monocytes. Br J Haematol. 1991 Mar;77(3):287–290. [PubMed]
  • Markey GM, Alexander HD, McConnell R, Kyle A, Morris TC, Robertson JH. Hereditary monocyte esterase deficiency. Br J Haematol. 1986 Jun;63(2):359–362. [PubMed]
  • Markey GM, Morris TC, Alexander HD, Kyle A, Middleton D, Turner A, Burnside P, Drexler HG, Gaedicke G, Hartmen W, et al. Monocyte esterase? A factor involved in the pathogenesis of lymphoproliferative neoplasia. Leukemia. 1987 Mar;1(3):236–239. [PubMed]
  • Markey GM, McCormick JA, Morris TC, Alexander HD, Nolan L, Morgan LM, Reynolds ME, Edgar S, Bell AL, McCaigue MD, et al. Monocyte esterase deficiency in malignant neoplasia. J Clin Pathol. 1990 Apr;43(4):282–286. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Monahan RA, Dvorak HF, Dvorak AM. Ultrastructural localization of nonspecific esterase activity in guinea pig and human monocytes, macrophages, and lymphocytes. Blood. 1981 Dec;58(6):1089–1099. [PubMed]
  • Musson RA. Human serum induces maturation of human monocytes in vitro. Changes in cytolytic activity, intracellular lysosomal enzymes, and nonspecific esterase activity. Am J Pathol. 1983 Jun;111(3):331–340. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Oertel J, Hagner G, Kastner M, Huhn D. The relevance of alpha-naphthyl acetate esterases to various monocyte functions. Br J Haematol. 1985 Dec;61(4):717–726. [PubMed]
  • Papadimitriou JM, van Bruggen I. A quantitative cytochemical analysis of resident and exudate macrophages. J Pathol. 1981 May;134(1):27–38. [PubMed]
  • Parwaresch MR, Radzun HJ, Dommes M. The homogeneity and monocytic origin of human peritoneal macrophages evidence by comparison of esterase polymorphism. Am J Pathol. 1981 Feb;102(2):209–218. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rademakers LH, Van Blokland WT, De Frankrijker JF, De Weger RA, Compier-Spies PI. Ultrastructural cytochemistry of non-specific esterase in murine peritoneal macrophages. Histochem J. 1989 May;21(5):301–308. [PubMed]
  • Radzun HJ, Kreipe H, Parwaresch MR. Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase as a differentiation marker for the human mononuclear phagocyte system. Hematol Oncol. 1983 Oct-Dec;1(4):321–327. [PubMed]
  • Radzun HJ, Parwaresch MR, Kreipe H. Monocytic origin of human alveolar macrophages. J Histochem Cytochem. 1983 Feb;31(2):318–324. [PubMed]
  • Sokol RJ, Wales J, Hudson G. Cell suspension culture for studying development of macrophages. J Clin Pathol. 1985 Oct;38(10):1194–1195. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sokol RJ, Hudson G, James NT, Frost IJ, Wales J. Human macrophage development: a morphometric study. J Anat. 1987 Apr;151:27–35. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sokol RJ, Wales J, Hudson G, Goldstein DJ, James NT. Changes in cellular dry mass during macrophage development. Acta Anat (Basel) 1991;142(3):246–248. [PubMed]
  • Sokol RJ, Hudson G, Wales J, James NT. Ultrastructural morphometry of human leucocytes in health and disease. Electron Microsc Rev. 1991;4(1):179–195. [PubMed]
  • Sokol RJ, Hudson G, Wales JM, James NT. Immune-mediated interactions during macrophage development in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Virchows Arch B Cell Pathol Incl Mol Pathol. 1992;62(2):115–118. [PubMed]
  • Stevenson HC, Katz P, Wright DG, Contreras TJ, Jemionek JF, Hartwig VM, Flor WJ, Fauci AS. Human blood monocytes: characterization of negatively selected human monocytes and their suspension cell culture derivatives. Scand J Immunol. 1981 Sep;14(3):243–256. [PubMed]
  • Sutton JS, Weiss L. Transformation of monocytes in tissue culture into macrophages, epithelioid cells, and multinucleated giant cells. An electron microscope study. J Cell Biol. 1966 Feb;28(2):303–332. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • van der Meer JW, van de Gevel JS, Blussé van Oud Alblas A, Kramps JA, van Zwet TL, Leijh PC, van Furth R. Characteristics of human monocytes cultured in the Teflon culture bag. Immunology. 1982 Dec;47(4):617–625. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • van der Rhee HJ, van der Burgh-de Winter CP, Daems WT. The differentiation of monocytes into macrophages, epithelioid cells, and multinucleated giant cells in subcutaneous granulomas. I. Fine structure. Cell Tissue Res. 1979 Apr 12;197(3):355–378. [PubMed]
  • van Furth R, Cohn ZA, Hirsch JG, Humphrey JH, Spector WG, Langevoort HL. The mononuclear phagocyte system: a new classification of macrophages, monocytes, and their precursor cells. Bull World Health Organ. 1972;46(6):845–852. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Anatomy are provided here courtesy of Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...